A much-loved and popular member of the St Andrews Aquarium family, Laurel the Seal, passed away this week. Laurel was the aquarium’s first harbour seal, and has been a favourite at the popular Fife visitor attraction for over 20 years. Laurel came to St Andrews after being found as an abandoned seal pup near Oban in 1991. No stranger to the limelight, Laurel first hit the headlines when her fellow seal Hardy was swept out to sea in a huge storm that hit the Fife coast in 2010. Laurel lived alone in her extensive salt water sea pool for 18 months before bosses at the aquarium sourced her a playmate, Togo. On Togo’s arrival, both seals were quarantined in separate adjoining pools. Tenacious Laurel became an internet sensation after scaling a four foot fence to introduce herself to her new friend.
John Mace, manager of St Andrews Aquarium, said: “Laurel was a true character and she packed a lot into her eventful life. We are desperately sad, but her memory will live on through the many, many stories the team here at the aquarium can tell visitors about the adventures she had.”
The aquarium is planning to remember Laurel with a plaque in the enclosure where she lived for nearly 25 years.